Selling To Foreign Language Markets

This article, by author Douglas Smith, originally appeared on his site this month.

When considering potential markets for short fiction, many SF&F writers overlook the many non-English language genre magazines and anthologies published around the world. This article discusses why you might want to consider these markets and how to sell to them.

Why Submit to Foreign Language Markets?

Especially if you can’t read that particular language? First, it broadens the audience of readers who gain exposure to your work. If you write novels as well as short fiction (or plan to), a resume of short story sales in non-English markets can assist in foreign rights sales for your longer work, as can the relationships and contacts that you’ll build with foreign publishers, editors, translators, and illustrators. And it doesn’t hurt your public profile to say that you’ve published stories in twenty-eight languages and twenty-two countries.

Secondly, anything you make from these sales is found money. Yes, you’ll generally get less for foreign reprints than you did for selling first rights to a professional English market, but remember that you can sell your reprints in multiple languages. My foreign language sales have ranged from $30 to $300 per story, averaging about $100 per sale – so with sales to several foreign markets, you can easily pick up an additional few hundred dollars per story.

Finally, if you’re a beginning writer, there’s the fun factor–the chance to see your name alongside of some of the biggest names in fiction. Even when I was starting out writing short fiction, my foreign language sales let my name appear with the likes of Steven King, Neil Gaiman, Larry Niven, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Mike Resnick, Tanith Lee, Neal Stephenson, Orson Scott Card, Frank Herbert, not to mention James Branch Cabell and H.P. Lovecraft. In addition, many foreign magazines will include beautiful illustrations for your story that you won’t get in even the pro English markets and which make a great visual addition to your website.

Read the rest of the article on Douglas Smith’s site to learn about: How To Find And Select Foreign Markets, Other Considerations and Caveats, and Other Tools. Also be sure to access his Foreign-Language Market List (FML) on the site after reading the rest of the article. 

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